Americans need to live more like Europeans

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Bloomberg: “It is widely believed that the US economy is built on the endless appetite of Americans to buy a lot of things. Household consumption accounts for approximately 67% of GDP. When the economy falters, we are told that spending is our patriotic duty. “

“But suddenly, Americans can’t spend like they used to. Store shelves are emptying and it can take months to find a car, refrigerator or sofa. If this continues, we may need to learn to do without it and, horrors, live more like Europeans. In reality, that might not be a bad thing, because the US economy could be healthier if it relied less on consumption. “

“After all, Americans haven’t always behaved like this. We have entered the era of superabundance. We consume much more than before and more than other countries. Per capita consumption grew by around 65% from 1990 to 2015, compared with growth of around 35% in Europe. Household consumption represents only around 50% of GDP in Germany “.

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